Cave in Mexico: 1000-year-old Maya canoe discovered

Cave in Mexico: 1000-year-old Maya canoe discovered

Status: 10/30/2021 3:55 PM.

So far, scientists have only been able to estimate from fragments what the Maya boats once looked like. Archaeologists have discovered a canoe from the Maya period in what is now an underwater cave in Mexico, which is surprisingly well preserved.

A 1000-year-old canoe from the Maya period has been discovered in Mexico. According to the National Institute for Anthropology and History (INAH), archaeologists found the boat in a so-called cenote, an underwater cave in southern Mexico.

Cenotes are widespread in the Yucatan Peninsula and were revered by the Maya as sacred sites. “The small boat could have been used to collect water from the cenotes or to collect ritual offerings,” the institute said. It is about 1.60 meters long and 80 centimeters wide.

In this cenote, as the underwater caves in Mexico are called, scientists found canoes from the Maya period.

Image: via Reuters

According to the first estimates of scientists, the canoe probably came from the time between 830 and 950 AD. The exact age is now to be determined through analysis of the wood with the support of the University of Paris. In addition, a three-dimensional model has to be commissioned to facilitate further studies and enable replications.

This is the first discovery of such a well-preserved canoe in the Maya region. So far only fragments of similar boats have been seized in Guatemala and Belize.

Controversial project by President Obrador

The boat was discovered by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during construction work on the “Maya Railway”, a controversial tourism project. Its aim is to link holiday destinations on the Mexican coast with archaeological sites and thus reduce poverty in the country’s poorer southern states.

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However, critics argue that this would harm the sensitive ecosystems of the regions.

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